The details of the Tour de France 2024, which will be held from 29 June to 21 July, were revealed by Christian Prudhomme in front of almost 4,000 spectators at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. As its title suggests, the 111th edition will feature a series of firsts, starting with the Grand Départ, which for the first time will be held in Italy, in Florence, then head to Emilia-Romagna for the finish of stage one in Rimini.
The quest for the Yellow Jersey will continue as soon as the race enters France, with a stage that will take the peloton to the Col du Galibier on stage four, then on the white paths around Troyes, in a time trial in Burgundy over the Massif Central at Le Lioran, the Pyrenees at the Plateau de Beille on 14 July; and again in the Southern Alps, where they will have to beat an altitude record at the Cime de la Bonnette.
The race for the overall victory may not be settled after the battle of the summits and could even come to an end on the final stage, which for the first time will finish somewhere other than Paris, precisely between Monaco and Nice for a 34-kilometre time trial. A litmus test that will resolve all questions.
At the Place Masséna, just a stone’s throw from the Promenade des Anglais, the winner will be presented with a trophy in a new format featuring the Yellow Jersey to be shared with his teammates!
An Italian-style start has never been seen before in the Tour de France. The riders expected in Florence can already guess the tone of the opening stage, with the road to Rimini allowing them to pay tribute to the memory of Gino Bartali and a cumulative climb of 3,600 metres… the mountains before the mountains. The stay in the country of the late Toto Cutugno lends itself to early clashes between the favourites, as does the entry into France, almost immediately followed by an ascent of the Col du Galibier before the finish in Valloire. A difficult excursion to 2,642 metres above sea level on day four of the race: the peloton has never climbed so high so early. While the contenders for the green jersey will have a fine opportunity to show their mettle in the second half of the week in Saint-Vulbas (stage 5) and Dijon (stage 6), all eyes will be on the contenders for yellow in the heart of the Burgundy vineyards for a clash of „grand cru“ rouleurs between Nuits-Saint-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin (stage 7). Both groups will be called upon to battle through the dust and small stones around Troyes for the first introduction of several white roads (32.2km in total) on the Tour route (stage 9).
The festival of summits will continue at modest altitudes but on fearsome slopes because to reach Le Lioran victorious (stage 11), it will be necessary to excel on the climbs to Puy Mary Pas de Peyrol via the Col de Néronne, then on the road to the Col de Pertus. The best climbers will be called upon again, three days later and a step above, for two finishes on the peaks of the Pyrenees: at the end of a dynamic stage at Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet (stage 14), then the next day for a 198 km marathon with 4,850m of D+ finishing at the Plateau de Beille (stage 15).
The southern option will be explored for the Tour 2024’s second visit to the Alps, with a new climb starting at Superdévoluy, the finish of stage 17. Next on the programme will be a climbing section likely to shake up the hierarchy from top to bottom on a day when the riders will climb above 2,000 metres three times. With the first return to the Cime de la Bonnette (2,802 metres) since 2008, the altitude record will be equalled on the highest tarmac road in France. The finish of stage 19 will be at Isola 2000, but nothing will be settled yet as the stage for a major rematch will be set over the 133 km between Nice and the Col de la Couillole, with the Col de Turini and the Col de la Colmiane to be climbed in between (stage 20). Depending on the distribution of roles on the morning of 21 July, the first final finish of the Tour organised far from Paris could well give rise to a doubly historic epilogue, as the Yellow Jersey has not changed shoulders on the final day since 1989 and Greg LeMond’s eight-second victory over Laurent Fignon. The battle of the last chance will take place between Monaco and Nice in a 34-kilometre showdown.